Archive for October, 2005

Our house closed on September 1, 1999. As soon as most of the boxes (don’t look under the basement steps) were unpacked and the place looked halfway decent, I decorated for Halloween. I was so looking forward to having cute kids crying for candy (urgh…too much alliteration). Being a huge candy fan myself, I was also looking forward to having more candy than the kids would take, thus assuring myself of a decent munching supply through Thanksgiving. I spent roughly $30.00 on Halloween candy. I had 4 bags of Milk Duds, 30 Peanut Butter cups and 3 bags of fun-size Milky Way. How do I remember this? Because we had two trick or treaters, and that Halloween candy sat around my house for months–until I was so sick of it that I threw it out. It was in danger of being served to the same two kids the next year.

Friends of ours had candy-loving small children, and I had waited for several hours for their boy and girl to stop by. When they didn’t come, I ventured over to find out the whole story. It went something like this….they don’t believe in Halloween because it celebrates the Devil and Evil and Satan and Witches. So they had a party at their church. Where the kids came in costume, they handed out candy and there was a play. About the Devil. And Evil. And Satan. And a Witch. So, in summation for the jury…I who have no problem with Halloween as a holiday spent the evening sitting on my front porch dejectedly eating unwanted Reese Cups. Friends of ours who think the whole thing is Satan’s Birthday Feast and should be avoided had a giant party featuring Satan himself (albeit in a villainous role). I don’t get it. What did I miss?

I’ve always celebrated Halloween. Cheifly because it is my Dad’s birthday, and he loves anything that has anything to do with a holiday, and will walk across broken glass for a candy bar. This man plants a tree every Arbor Day. To have his actual day of birth fall on a holiday wherein candy is prominantly featured is the ultimate example of God ‘s sense of who His children are. When I went to a Christian School, we didn’t celebrate Halloween. We had, conveniently placed at the end of October, a Harvest Festival. Yep. We got candy. We wore costumes. We bobbed for apples and made popcorn balls. There were no witches or ghosts, but we did toast the pumpkin seeds that we all brought in from carving our Jack-O-Lanterns at home. This post-modern Christian approach to Halloween has always left me scratching my head. What are we doing? Do we not believe in it? Then don’t have a party. Do we just not want to glorify evil? Then call it Halloween, but don’t have witches and devils. If we really are after a strong witness, why don’t we reclaim November 1 as All Saints’ Day? Or do we not care about the faith enough to celebrate that, but we will have Trunk N Treat in the church parking lot? In High School (back to the same Christian school where I started) I asked a parent volunteer these questions. She told me her personal problem with it is that Hallloween gives Satan an opportunity to have us focus on things that are gruesome–like Dracula and Frankenstein.
This from a religion that tells the children stories where sluts dance nude for their stepfathers and are rewarded with heads on a plate. Yes. We, whose Lord hangs bloodied from a cross, are strangers to the gruesome.

Personally, I’m celebrating Halloween. And I’m calling it “Halloween” while I do.

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A very happy birthday to Brittney of NiT

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Blogging will be light over the next few days as I will be unavoidably detained with other duties. The only reason I’m blogging at all right now is because I’m waiting on my iPod Photo to finish its update. It’s taking forever. I need my music. I cannot vacuum without it.

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937 Words

That’s the final tally of today’s book writing. Slightly under my goal of 1,000. I think I’d make more progress if I didn’t unwrite more than I write. I am happier with what I write on a more regular basis. At least we’re well past “A dark and stormy night.”

I know there are a few other writers who ping into here from time to time. You may be interested in a new bloglisting I’ve linked in the sidebar. No. Not Celebrity Scientologist Blog. That’s for everyone. Author’s Blogs is a place for both aspiring and published authors to link their blogs, and a place for everyone to read about the path to publishing from all points of view. It is not for people who’s only writing work is on their blog, but it is for those ( Huck, this means you) who are working on a book, are writing query letters for their book or are stumping for their book.

Check it out. It’s fun.

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Back over Labor Day Weekend, we had a bit of a dustup in the Nashosphere. So the fence-mending was tonight, and I had to bail at the next-to-last minute. As I told my fellow conspirator, it’s like we’re the nerds who decorate the gym but stay home the night of the prom.

Anyway, since prom was happening without me, I decided I’d burn off my loneliness with a bracing round of Pilates. Okay. Ouch. But aside from that, in the middle of one of the mind-expanding gut-clenching exercises I realized that you all have killed Rock & Roll. I hope you’re happy. My workout mix consists of a healthy dose of Jim Steinman,
flavoured with bits of The Who, AC/DC and Jethro Tull. This is music that makes you want to behave badly. It makes you want to get on a motorcycle and go like…a bat out of hell. This is Rock & Roll. Much as Tim and I have spent the last 12 years of our marriage making fun of that actor named Bill who isn’t the one in Independence Day but is the one in Twister, I must say that I agree with his whinging dismissal of Jonas. Much like the Dread Pirate Roberts dude in Twister, Rock & Roll went and got itself some Corporate Sponsors. And they’ve killed it dead. Come on people. Mariah frakkin’ Carey? This is what you give me when Ian Anderson hangs up his angry flute? I’m not exercising to TLC or Brittney Spears or whatever no-talent hack is pretty enough to warrant soundboards remixing their voice into tolerable. If I want to see pretty breasts I’ll either buy a magazine or go and sit in the locker room at the Green Hills YMCA. If I want to hear music that makes me want to burn something and dance, I’ll have to revisit the record collection. But since none of it ever grows old, I guess I’m fine with that.

But here I am on prom night and I must tell you, from the bottom of my heart that
Nothin’ ever grows in this rotten ol’ hole. Everything is stunted and lost. And nothin’ really rocks and nothing really rolls and nothin’s ever worth the cost.

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In a bizarro world where Superman needs Kryptonite to survive. I would be Superman–recast as a 35-year old woman–and Kryptonite would be cheese.

And Patrick, with his new blog Lactose Free Nashville is Lex Luthor.

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I Believe

I have true faith. I believe in a lot of things that others consider goofy or strange, and that doesn’t bother me. But one of my fondest beliefs is constantly under fire.

I believe in the Loch Ness Monster. Firmly, unshakably. Almost. I suppose if someone could show me crisp, clear, underwater footage of the entire 22-mile long Loch–completely free of Nessie–then I might be convinced otherwise. Until that unhappy day, I will stand my ground.

Why do I care? Because I like the thought that there is something elusive yet tangible just out of sight. Because I like the thought that in a world of nanotechnology, cloning, geneome mapping and space exploration that there is something in our own backyard we haven’t conquered and don’t quite understand. Nessie is a paradigm shift just waiting to happen.

What do I think she is? I’d like for her to be a plesiosaur if for no other reason than it would be an even more radical charge than if she were a giant eel or serpentine whale. Currently, the Virgin Eel theory seems to be the most popular among Cryptozoologists and authors who are former gym teachers. Really, though, as long as she exists I’ll be happy.

And in case you were wondering, yes I do believe we actually landed on the moon but still feel very strongly that The Stonecutters are the best explanation to date for Steve Guttenberg.

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My blog is worth $27,097.92.
How much is your blog worth?

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There are some things that are predictable in the Nashosphere. Aunt B. will become irritated with a conservative opinion from time to time. Bob Krumm will hold a conservative opinion every time. Brittney will be waiting gleefully for something bad to happen to her enemies and Big Orange Michael will either be rooting for UT or watchin’ some TV. Then there’s the ubiquitous soft-core Bono over at Sharon’s place.

But today I saw something I never ever thought I’d see.

Glurge. At Kleinheider’s.

That’s right. Hard Right. The original 29-year-old charming curmudgeon. And he’s posted a heartwarming story with a lesson attached. I appreciate the lesson. I’m dumbfounded by the context. I love his constant ability to suprise us all with contrarianism. This may be his boldest act yet.

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I have had this theory for years. And I’m revisiting it now because this post over at Voice Of Hope sparked the thought in my brain. And then I remembered that this very day was chastened for dropping the f-bomb.

Crap, sh*t, dang, damn, f***, bloody…. Who determines these words and their meanings? Where did they originate and how?

My mom used to call this stuff “barnyard talk. You could say “urinate” but not “piss”. You could say “defecate” but not “crap” or “sh!t”. And of course there’s “make love, have intercourse, have sex” but no eff words allowed. My personal favourite was that under no circumstance could we utter the word “fart”. Instead we had to say “stinker” or “pass gas”. There really are no words for how it cracks me up to hear my 33-year old attorney brother say “who stinkered?”

It always struck me as curious. If the words mean the same thing, why is one okay but the other is rude-low-off colour? Personally I blame the French and the Catholic Church. In thinking about it some more, all of the baddie phonemes condemed to the gutter seem to be good old Anglo-Saxon/Old English words. Some examples:

Shit: Shit is a very old word, with an Old English root. *Scítan is the Old English word. It has cognates in most of the other Germanic languages and shares a common Germanic root with modern equivalents like the German scheissen.

See You Next Tuesday (Sorry…I can’t stand this word at all): This word for the female genitalia dates back to the Middle English period, c.1325. (Although researchers have found a London street named Gropecuntelane from c. 1230.) Although the word cannot be traced back further than this, there are cognates in a variety of other Germanic languages, indicating a Germanic origin.

It does not come from the Latin cunnus, which is also a term for the female pudenda, although a common root back in the mists of time cannot be discounted. Use of the word as term of abuse for a woman is a 20th century sense, dating to 1929.

F**K Yeah, despite what Van Halen thinks, the origin of this word has nothing to do with carnal knowledge–legal or otherwise. There are whole books about the subject but Word Origins says :

The root is undoubtedly Germanic, as it has cognates in other Northern European languages: Middle Dutch fokken meaning to thrust, to copulate with; dialectical Norwegian fukka meaning to copulate; and dialectical Swedish focka meaning to strike, push, copulate, and fock meaning penis. Both French and Italian have similar words, foutre and fottere respectively. These derive from the Latin futuere.

While these cognates exist, they are probably not the source of f***, rather all these words probably come from a common root. Most of the early known usages of the English word come from Scotland, leading some scholars to believe that the word comes from Scandinavian sources. Others disagree, believing that the number of northern citations reflects that the taboo was weaker in Scotland and the north, resulting in more surviving usages. The fact that there are citations, albeit fewer of them, from southern England dating from the same period seems to bear out this latter theory.

Piss Word Origin: 1250-1300 ME (Middle English) pissen

Fart Word Origin: Old English feortan

And so forth. So what do the French and the Church have to do with it? My theory goes like this. The Normans invade Britain, conquering the land in 1066. Along with their Norman aristocracy and official Anglo-Norman Court Language they brought closer ties to The Continent and the Holy Roman Church. The proper way for ladies and gentlemen to speak was either the cultured Anglo-Norman way or the Learned Latin way of the Church. You know all those fine Latin and French words. Like “urinate”; “defecate”; “intercourse”. So here we are, nearly a thousand years after the Norman Conquest, still afraid to speak the language of a conquered people. Still playing kiss-up to the King.

And in case anyone is wondering why I still censored some of the words in this post…I don’t want to get the “Explicit Content” label on Patrick and Lydia’s blog. It’d break my heart. By the way, my sister apologises to you, Patrick, for using the word “A—–le” in the comments the other day. That word derives from the Old English ears, as opposed to the very correct French term “Derriere”.

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